Afghanistan: Taliban Closes Universities to Women

    Photo: Getty Images [via BBC]

    The Facts

    • A spokesman for the Taliban-led Afghan Ministry of Higher Education confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that the government has suspended university education for all female students in Afghanistan.

    • The higher education minister stated in a letter that this move restricting women's access to formal education is until further notice, with reports expecting it to take effect immediately.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The Taliban is committed to respecting women's rights as defined by the Islamic Sharia laws, not by secular customs imposed by the so-called international community. Female students will be allowed access to formal education once a decent cultural and religious environment has been created in Afghanistan.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Barring women from higher education is a step in the wrong direction for the Taliban. The choice is guaranteed to hurt the group's efforts to receive international donations at a time when the country is deep in an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis. The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all Afghans.

    Establishment split



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